Viacom18, the 50:50 joint venture between US-based Viacom and India’s Network 18 Group, is likely to complete its acquisition in Eenadu TV’s (ETV) regional general entertainment channels (GECs) by the end of this year. TV18 owns 50% regional entertainment channels and Viacom will take up a similar stake, the fact could not be independently verified. News channels acquired from ETV, namely ETV Uttar Pradesh, ETV Madhya Pradesh, ETV Rajasthan, ETV Bihar and ETV Urdu will be with TV18. (Under existing rules, a foreign entity cannot hold more than 26% in news operations in India.) (Business Line)
ONGC announces $2.5 bn deal, withdraws hours later: State-run Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has retracted from its earlier statement that ONGC Videsh and Oil India had signed a definitive agreement with Videocon to buy 10% stake in a Mozambique gas field for $2.47 billion (Rs 13,398 crore). ONGC regrets to announce that the press release titled ‘OVL and OIL sign definitive agreement to acquire interest in the Rovuma Area-1 offshore block in Mozambique’ has been inadvertently issued. The above-referred Release stands withdrawn,” ONGC said in a statement after announcing the deal about two-and-a-half hours ago. State-run explorers would acquire Videocon Mozambique Rovuma 1 Ltd, which holds 10% stake in the Rovuma Area-1 offshore block in Mozambique. (The Economic Times)
Reliance Industries eyes 31% stake in Haldia Petrochemical: Six companies, Reliance Industries Ltd, ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation, GAIL, Essar and Cairn have evinced interest in acquiring 31% in Haldia Petrochemical Ltd (HPL), portion of the stake that the West Bengal government holds. The Bengal government had initially floated expression of interest for 67.5 crore equity shares, which constituted 39.99% of paid up equity of the company. However, two TCG firms argued that out of 67.5 crore shares, 15.5 crore shares were disputed and approached the court. The Calcutta High Court then advised the state government to go ahead with the remaining stake which is around 31%. HPL co-promoter TCG holds 690 million equity shares which is 41% of the paid-up equity of the company. Indian Oil holds 8.89% equity stake as a strategic investor and the rest is with financial institutions and Tata Group companies Tata Motors and Tata Power. (The Economic Times)
Prime Focus up on buzz PE co to buy stake in unit: Prime Focus, a visual effects maker for films and advertisements, rose 5% to Rs 37.30 Monday on buzz a foreign private equity fund was buying stake in the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Prime Focus World. It is learnt that the company has appointed Macquaire to find buyers for Prime Focus World, which provides visual effects to and 3D conversion for Hollywood movies like ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Titanic’. The company which is seeking a valuation of $300 million (Rs 1,710 crore), is scouting for private equity investors to pare down debt and expand its business. Apart from billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, who owns a 6.14% stake, Standard Chartered Private Equity, ICICI Prudential and Citigroup are the major investors in the listed entity with 19.71%, 3.81% and 1.02% stakes, respectively. (The Economic Times)
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